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Craig Unger Education. (2012) 'Boss Rove Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power.'

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Karl Rove 15, U.s. 7, George W. Bush 5, Ohio 5, Don Siegelman 4, Texas 4, Florida 4, New York 3, Us 3, United States 3, Romney 3, North Carolina 2, George Soros 2, Rove 2, Obama 2, Michael Steele 2, Mickey 2, Chattanooga 1, Steaming 1, Chattanooga Tennessee 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Craig Unger  Education.  (2012) 'Boss Rove  
   Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power.'  

    October 7, 2012
    7:00 - 7:44pm EDT  

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it couldn't happen today to the same degree, so i think she became much more than the court planned her to be. but at the same time, joan was very much joan, and so when they told her to shut up and go along with the truce, her self-confidence really comes through and, again, where she got that from, i don't know. but she showed that throughout. and when i talked to one of the actresses who portrayed her, she said, you know, since i was her age when i played the part, i think it was just the confidence of youth, you know? as someone my age, you know, i'd be very scare today get on a ski trail and go down it for the first time. but joan at 17 was seen not to be afraid of anything. i think she thought she was invincible, and that communicated itself to people around her. she did not try and drag them to church all the time even though she suggested they go to mass before fighting. but it's a very different picture than you get from a lot of fiction and a lot of the films that have popularized her
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story and even her sainthood, which i think has made her into a don't mess with joan kind of figure. .. and we know that's not true, but one of the things that it really tells me is that at times in history commanders typically price for a price for very strong women, and misuse a teenage girl, to operate and
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have a really strong at act on historical events. so i think it's a bit corrective to what we tend to assume that especially the middle ages. >> watch the tv all weekend to see more.
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>> now, craig unger recounts the political career of karl rove. he extends his tenure as senior vice president b. chief of staff to president george w. bush and his attendant countries involvement with the superpac, and american crossroads. [applause] be mac thank you. there's a little less than two months before the election and in many ways this is the time the book was designed for because this are into these last two months, this is the election really get going. and to me, one of the great untold stories is not just obama versus romney. it is obama versus karl rove and
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he's in behind the scenes the whole time and he has put together over $1 billion that will be spent in these last two months. read new york here are not going to see much spent in the battleground states. and he's become king of the sub two. he has cover when you put this together money with money romney has raised the republican national committee is a total of about $1.8 billion. to put that in this, in no way, mccain had 375 million to spend, so this is a fact or a five. you'll start seeing it come out now. the other thing i want to discuss about him, is susie really? what does he do? is a political operative. how does he operate? what does he do?
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i talked to a couple services. one said there is a dark and terrible beauty about what he does. i have another source is a former cia agent named larry johnson had told me that camino, the cia covert an awful lot from karl rove and the way his deniability and office operations he does. he's both very commit very visible, he's something like a 70% name recognition united states. that's it you justin bieber. or we'd all we'd all probably know what he does. and when you go back over history and look at the thing starting to unfold in the election, he has deniability of one level after another. to me, the story became interested in a way because most people thought karl rove was
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finished in 2008 in the bush presidency started to come to an end. he had been forced out of the white house in 2007. he was the prime target in the two biggest scandals of the bush era, the valley plan affair in the united states attorney scandal. bush left a 22% approval rating from lowest in the history of the united states. and even top republican strategists like adderall and said that his version was tainted forever. no one would ever want to be a bush republican and work with karl rove. and the fact of the matter is he was back working again within a matter of weeks. and it became evident to me in early 2010 from about a year after obama took office. three things happen. the first was from the united states supreme court. i think no person in the united
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states i can think of has benefited more from the supreme court of karl rove. two decisions. one in 2000 obviously with bush v. gore put his candidate in the white house and two, in 2010, citizens united decision. that opened the floodgates for contribution -- unlimited contributions. in many cases from secret sources is no transparency with the weather, that is just unprecedented in history. the second thing that happened with michael still running the applicant party instead of running it in to ditch and he couldn't raise the time and it came to his favor early in 2010. you may recall there was a revelation in los angeles that the republican national committee has been entertaining
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at at a lesbian bondage themed strip club. this did not work well, so they could not raise a dime. this gave for his opening. so he had a luncheon at his house in the weaver terrace. it was cohosted by a lsp, a former chair of the arun the senate had about two dozen people over and came away with tens and tens of millions of dollars. that luncheon alone gave him about four times as much money as the entire republican party. so rove was the fact that establishing an apparatus that gave an enormous amount of power and authority with almost no responsibility. he reported to no one, but he had his hands on the purse strings. this led to the 2010 legislative
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election. there is a total of $300 million swept congress. they took 63 seats in the house and suddenly obama's big advantage was gone. he had no real authority. this money -- the question is what did he do with the money? is going to go into the battleground state. and i started to look and what is going to do now. i decided to look at what he had done in the past. i found again and again that a lot of it really had not been reported in depth. one thing i found that he had was a huge technology apparatus and i went to chattanooga tennessee and i found a company called smart tack. i saw a rove about a year ago in ohio and i asked him about this
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company and he told me he never heard of it. i find that hard to believe. this is a come to me with a byzantine corporate history. if you go throughout the funds and corporate changes and find out who put up the original money, the original money came from to very wealthy republican donors named morsel reynold and bill dewitt. and i researched them and then pdc build that george w. bush several times. he had three oil companies in the 80s that would rally up in each time they came to stress here. they were also baseball royalty. bill dewitt owns the st. louis cardinals and his father had owned the old st. louis browns. and they gave bush entrée into his own texas rangers, which is one, the only lucrative investment he ever made. he put his vixen a dozen dollars
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and came away with about $15 million. and this company, smart tag, which started out as a legitimate technology company soon became a republican operation. and it's all good while the republicans are conservative groups should have their websites and so forth. but this is very unusual and i saw george w. bush 43 was fair. the republican committee hosted it websites. hundreds and hundreds of conservative groups were there. again, that is all fine and well. this company, which is highly, highly partisan also overtime required in contracts that i think probably should not have gone to such a partisan company. in the me just say two. one was if you're in the white
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house to meet your e-mail according to the presidential records are public documents and they're supposed to be hosted on whitehouse.gov. the rose made sure his e-mails were hosted on smart tack in any of his staffers, other people in the white house also had their e-mails there. so when rove was investigated for the valerie plain unfair and again in the u.s. attorney scandal, said my 22 million e-mails were deleted and these are all government documents and they have never been found. so that was one thing he seems to have gotten away with. another thing was in 2004, smart tag played a central role in the presidential election.
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the secretary of each state, a part of their job is to oversee an impartial election. you may recall kathleen harris in florida was secretary of state of florida and she also haven't played a central role in the bush election and there is considerable controversy over that. well, a very similar thing happened in ohio in 2004, where ken blackwell was secretary of state. and again, he was supposed to oversee a fair and impartial election. but he happened to be cochaired the bush cheney reelection committee. he decided to tabulate the return for the 2004 election was secretary of state's computers weren't enough than they needed to get another set of computer service. so who did he go to both smart
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tack. smart tax roll raises an amount of very interesting questions. i went through the returns as deeply studied. there were several lawsuits. you can see when the returns came in that night. and what happened as the night wore on a november 2nd, 2004, was a very, very close election. it was clear the election would come down to who won florida, who won ohio. these are the last two key battleground states. around 11:00, the networks finally called it for florida and that meant there was one crucial state as steaming, ohio. whoever won ohio would win the electoral college. the exit polls were in and they showed kerry winning ohio by 4.2%. suddenly i'm in millions of people started blogging on to the secretary of state's
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computer in ohio. traffic went through the roof. it went up 700%. that means the computers and cat country and chattanooga, tennessee had kicked in at 11:14 p.m. and suddenly in county after county to report it, there were these striking anomalies. the next 10 counties in a row. this raises a lot of serious questions about who actually won the election. i went about as far as i could intrusiveness down. in terms of pinning it down conclusively, unfortunately there were still some unanswered questions. the reason for that is that again and again, all the evidence vanished mysteriously and there is a court order as a result of one of the lawsuits to impound both the ballot. but suddenly, over a million ballot were damaged or disappeared.
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in 2006 company secretary of state state, democratic secretary of state was elected in ohio and she was about to take office and went by her new offices just before she formerly took office. and when she went in, she saw everyone better under the direction of bill secretary of state, the republican blackwell was shredding thousands and thousands of documents. and finally, in the civil suit, a man named mike, was scheduled to testify. he had been subpoenaed once and a post once, given one deposition. he was scheduled for another. he supposedly had all the answers and on december 19th, 2008, his plane crashed. so there were a lot of unanswered questions about that. i think when we get to, you
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know, two other things that that's talk about before we open it up to questions. one hop in just two days ago. a man named don siegelman went to jail. he was the former governor of alabama and the u.s. attorney scandal was something that was widely misunderstood and people didn't understand the impact. it's one thing that has a lasting, lasting impact today. the scandal was widely reported as the u.s. attorney lost their jobs because they were not toeing the party line. but in fact, there's a much bigger scandal that really escaped attention. the question is, what about the u.s. attorney who were towing the party line. what were they doing? in the first term of russia's
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first term alone were 200 politicians are prosecuted and 85% were democrats. and what you found, don siegelman is probably the most egregious example. two days ago he went to jail it is going to serve nearly seven years. n.y.p.d. to something that almost every politician has done, ack for an appointment. it happened to be a nonpaying appointment to a board of education to a campaign contributor. he received nothing personally and demand in return got a state position that he held before under republicans. before that, don siegelman was prosecuted for bribery and was convicted in a research seven-month. he was out on appeal in that
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he's going back for nearly seven years. this is something george w. bush did with more than 100 appointees is a commonplace. the prettiest part of our system, but as a commonplace to become an ambassador. bush did it with over 100 of his appointees. of course he was not prosecuted, but he was in a maximum-security prison. he was at the democratic national convention and now two days ago he's gone off to jail. the other thing that is part of the u.s. attorney scandal, we see again in this election. the u.s. attorney by the name of david ecclesia said new mexico lasses job. in 2004, he was passed by rove with prosecuting what rove cause
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voter fraud. and to find people fraudulently registered to vote. he investigated for several instead it's not happening. it doesn't exist. as a result of that, he lost his job. the brennan center at nyu school of law has been thorough investigation at the idea of voter fraud. they say basically it doesn't exist. there've been 10 or 12 cases in the first 10 years of this century out of hundreds of millions of those spirits someone may register as mickey mouse, but mickey mouse never shows up in rows. but nevertheless, rove has initiated a cam pain and its allies in more than 30 states legislature of having votes requiring voter ids. now part of the democrats are saying this is a severe form of voter suppression. that is in many cases you find
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the elderly was given up their drivers licenses, but it's perfect years, the out they no longer have a government issued i.d., so they are not allowed to vote. you have minorities that is hispanic. one of the challenge is hispanic timebomb. now there'll be 70 million in 2020. if they start to vote on that, it's going to be curtains for the republican speakers 10 million hispanics in texas alone. states like texas and arizona will flip from red to blue very soon, when sakic said. so this is one thing they're trying to do nsb has starting 10 years ago to suppress the vote. and if this were to go through them all the states, it would disenfranchise 21 million registered voters were eligible
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voters. so before opening to questions, i think we are now going to see what rove will do with this $1 billion class over the next seven or eight weeks. and he is a master at creating a narrative that doesn't always exist. if you look at the swift boat scandal again, the veterans for troops in 2004, dallas' last election. it was enormously affect that. he had absolutely nothing to do it, but of course then you go back, and it takes months to do this, any figure out where the money came from, came from the same donor's from people like bob kerrey who is a texas billionaire, harold simmons another texas billionaire and so forth. and now, he has made sort of his allegiance with the tea party
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and he's got people like the koch brothers will put an end as as much as $400 billion into this election. sheldon eagleson will put a as much as $100 million we will see him go to work over the next two months. and we will see him go to work over the next two months. and we will see him go to work over the next two months. and -- [applause] >> i guess you have questions now. i should say this is on c-span, so this is being televised and be careful what you say i guess. >> i was listening to earlier, developed a few questions for not. one, do you have any idea about who pays karl rove and how much he gets paid? into, i'm worried about ohio. are you?
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>> ohio -- yeah, the question was how does he get paid and how much and who pays them. the second question is what about ohio? obviously he's on fox news is there will and peanuts for him, but not so much for me. but when you raise a billion dollars and there are millions and millions in contracts going out, to be perfectly honest, it's impossible for me to tree sap money. there is no question that there are people at the media buyers come at acres, strategists who make a lot of money. he claims he does not take a piece of that. i honestly don't know the answer to that for sure. one thing i found out a little off point, but when i looked at
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who works for him, how does he operate, what i've found is that people who are karl rove operatives are not on his payroll. they find a way to get paid. when you're in the white house, george w. bush was in the white house, it is easy for them to get contracts from fema, federal emergency management agency and those contracts are given out with very little oversight. they are given out in the case of emergency and returned for a lucrative contract, people will operate all year long as an operative for rove. [inaudible] >> well, unique consumer or traveler is different than a
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citizen. the real question is were supposed to be democracy and have universal suffrage. why should you need -- there is a government issued i.d. mind you. that means that the drivers license. we don't have a formal government issued ids, except drivers license is also the only one i have. the reason is that disenfranchises millions of people. that is why should an elderly person who's given up his drivers license therefore be disenfranchised? [inaudible] >> requirement to vote isn't that you have to travel or go on a plane. it is merely pictures citizen and why add on additional structures? the only reason is to disenfranchise people.
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[inaudible] >> -- russia or afghanistan. [laughter] and the corruption and the eliminating of the right to vote and somebody stands voted at the same precinct for 50 years and they go down there and they don't have an i.d. they know each other intimately, but the law says they need an ide. it's absurd. i find the fraud on karl rove and his buddy site arendt as in there's been so little voter fraud reported in all of the
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research. >> well, thank you. i'm not sure what to say about that. [inaudible] >> what is extraordinary about him is he is effectively swallowed. he is more powerful in some ways. there is a schism within the party. the tea parties and some hangers on from the bush era. he tries to discipline people. you can see him in the 2010 election. christine o'donnell is in delaware who taught about dabbling in witchcraft.
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he did not like that and he came down on her. likewise go with todd akin cud the tea party candidate in missouri who talked about legitimate. rove did not like that. if you look at the finances they are coming you can see subbase power. it can do is $28 billion. subbase american crossroads put $15 million of that senate case. he pulled it out and now very strongly he's hanging in there. but in return, rove, and assert a surprise last last week he said if a given set ordered, dilkon looking for me. >> why did michael steele got fired? >> well -- the question was why was michael steele pushed out of
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the republican party? the answer is he couldn't raise any money at all. in terms of style, he was trying to make it sort of a hip-hop party and that didn't work with country club republicans were the tea party for that matter. it was really a funny question. was he trying to go up against obama? he would not bring african-americans into the party. he was turning up the party base and nothing was happening. he simply couldn't raise any money. >> yes. >> i have a two-part question. one is do you ever think there was a time in this country when our government was more honorable? or is it simply that we have become more and more sophisticated so the shenanigans
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are ever more elaborate and enormous. the second part of the question is, would getting rid of the elect grow cartilage in any way help us out? >> well, i personally would love to get rid of the electoral college. it would eliminate something like ohio been so central. when you are here in new york, no one cares how new york is, so they just don't care about us and our vote doesn't mean as much as a vote in ohio. it really doesn't. the attention on ohio is extraordinary when you go there. as to the first question, i think what is amazing is the amount of money. when you look at the supreme court decision on citizens united, as critics charge very and use the language butchered again and again in an orwellian way because the ruling was meant
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to give a voice to a deprived and people at the coat others. and the founders have no idea about writing up a niche markets in the airwaves in ohio about facebook and social media and the internet and so forth. >> in the newspapers about jackson. so it was smaller because we didn't have facebook. and it seems to me that it's been corrected almost from the beginning, or just bigger. >> there were horrible lies about abraham lincoln and likewise horrible lies about rhodes opponent in one election after another.
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>> is it only in our imagination that we imagine this is a democracy where we wish -- really is that just, you know, a scenario click >> i can't speak to all of american history, but yes. >> i'd like to know how karl rove got started. how did he get started? to receive born in how did he get into such a position? >> as a kid can with some of us were worshiping mickey mantle, he was studying william mckinley in mckinley's operative, mark hanna, who put mckinley in the white house. and he calls himself a classic nerd and ecology was on the college republicans. he ran for executive director of college republicans in his campaign manager was a legendary lee atwater who was a real bad
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way of the republican party. he did the famous willie horton ad in the campaign for the older george bush and went atwater died of a brain tumor at the age of 40 and not open up a space for karl rove and i think that's where he really took off. but it's also instructive he worked for nixon during watergate and was investigated by the fbi. in his early 20s during the watergate era, they chopped it because they had other fish to fry. but even that and he was doing dirty tricks. >> with a billion dollars in his hands, what shenanigans d.c.? >> there's no question a huge amount of money will be going into the airwaves. if rummy implodes, it had a very bad week coming of steamship in
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all its attention to taking over the senate. but i also think rove has been a great master at creating a narrative in getting it out there, a counter narrative. wallace at the democratic convention in charlotte, north carolina, they're at mtv from a group called special operations upset. we will see if that turns into the veterans for truth of this campaign. also at the events in libya and middle east unfolding, you know, you can watch nbc and say romney is completely falling apart. but let me suggest you turn the channel to fox and you get a completely different narrative. but the billion dollars to fill up the airwaves, that can be built into something that has real resonance and that obama speak in the middle east and so forth. even the answers sought in north carolina, where rove is one of
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his great tact fixes to attack his opponents strengths in these ads were attacking obama over the killing of osama bin laden, were you think you'd be vulnerable. but they were making into security leaks from the obama administration were making us vulnerable. >> what i find disturbing is the following. you read about bossed rove come as you want bring up information about a new kind of favorable. but in this discussion at least, there was no discussion at all that may be the democratic party is for lack of a better word, just as corrupt. well, you all know about the corruption of mr. soros, or at least the monies that he is spending, which you don't even
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bother to discuss. we know about the corruption of chicago politics and we also know a multi-you the truth. this is an incident, which disturbs me more than anything. when there are bought panthers not allowing white people to go into the in a certain election. it wasn't too long ago, okay? greater moment. so my question is -- all right -- so if you want to question, i will give you a question. why are you not presenting an unbiased view in both respects? you're making him to be the worst person and it's not because corruption exists on the other side as well.
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>> if you find any inaccuracies in my book, i'll gladly address them, but i'm not aware of any. [inaudible] >> do believe there's anything that can be done to turn this around, or has it gotten totally away from us at this point? >> you know, the question is, is there anything that can be done to turn this around? citizens united decision does open the floodgates and to me it's crazy because the united states supreme court, if you read the decision, the basis is a first amendment case, that this is being done. you can read a good two giveaways to the disadvantaged.
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it seems crazy to me that a billion dollars doesn't amplify the voices legionnaires so much that it drowns out everyone else. in terms of redressing back, it requires to reverse that, a constitutional amendment is very, very difficult. adiabatic -- $1.8 billion worth of stuff that is rammed down our throats for the next seven weeks. is there any hope of a backlash double overplay? >> i don't know, but when you travel around the country a bit, use the how fragmented it is. new york is not really part of the united states. and when you are in the heartland, in the battleground
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states in her only source of information are these that then fox news, it's a very, very different world. >> right, perhaps you could talk a little bit about how karl rove managed the republican primaries and had a puppet master cache on what was really going on with the republican candidates. >> bread. it was interesting to see, of course he's a talking head on fox news and works with "the wall street journal." and i thought, he's in the conflict there. here you saw the party boss in action and essentially he was picking off one candidate after another, everyone except romney. it would be for sarah palin who was so stunned she didn't even declare candidacy. he took care of newt gingrich,
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rick santorum, rick perry, herman cain. he made fun of them all again and again and again. but he does on on fox news, he's not just a talking head. he is the party boss saying look, i've got a billion dollars. you're not getting any of it. you're not going to run. you're not going to be the nominee. romney never took off during the primaries. it was simply everyone else was picked off one at a time. >> i arrived late, but to what extent with the republican with ross nader used to call them republic rats. and maybe for every karl rove,
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there is a less efficient democrat, and at his sake al gores do not really touch a nerve in the american public. so maybe the public is. >> i'm sorry, what is the question? >> it's not just a republican right wing problem, but the democrats also embed in money. they are successful. >> i mean, i entail the same? is that roughly which are getting a? i do think there's fundamental differences than i would use the u.s. attorney scandal just to give you an old. this is a very serious issue when the law is used to prosecute one group of people with a selective prosecution. that's very, very serious.
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don siegelman is important of course not just for his personal pain of having to go to jail, because you see the law being used to hundreds of democrats really. once a lawsuit is for democrats, just against blacks or hispanics or other groups, that is a very serious quote of democracy icing. [applause] >> yes, in the back there. >> i just want to address talking earlier about why you didn't choose to write about george soros and why you chose to write about karl rove. really my responses to her. if you want to read about george soros nui negative portrayal of him, you can find one. the david horowitz book, shadows or something like that. there's plenty of books that will support your point of view.
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an author is not obliged. he chose to write about karl rove. at the end of his reporting would've been a fabulously positive portrayal. but he is under no obligation to give you both sides of the story. he is only obliged to write about what the subject is. i think if you want to hear, you know, the story that she seemed to want to hear, you should seek out those authors. that's a perfectly fair thing to do. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible] -- the republican power broker -- and sir come the congressmen and senators assigned i'd never vote for a tax increase.